January 24, 2018 / 4:18 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St boosted by bank stocks; probe drags GE

* Bank stocks lead gains for main indexes

* Airline stocks down after United Continental’s report

* Mnuchin’s remarks spark declines in dollar

* Indexes up: Dow 0.41 pct, S&P 0.26 pct, Nasdaq 0.16 pct (Changes comment, updates prices, adds details)

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, driven by gains in bank stocks, while shares in General Electric fell after the company revealed a regulatory investigation of a multibillion-dollar insurance charge.

GE shares were down 1.8 percent in morning trading, reversing course from premarket.

The company in its earnings report forecast further weakening of its troubled power business and reported a $10 billion loss and a 5-percent fall in revenue.

“Clearly, GE is in the midst of a rather dramatic restructuring, so there’s a lot of moving pieces for investors to analyze,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank’s Private Client Reserve unit.

A drop in the dollar after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s welcomed the currency’s weakness at the World Economic Forum in Davis also supported the rise in stocks.

“To the extent that global growth is solid and a sizable portion of S&P earnings are earned overseas, I don’t look at this as being dollar negative at all,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist for Americas at Nations in New York.

Worries about a protectionist stance have added to the dollar’s woes after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels on Monday.

At 10:34 a.m. ET (1434 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 167.15 points, or 0.64 percent, at 26,377.96 and the S&P 500 was up 12.45 points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,851.58.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 21.51 points, or 0.29 percent, at 7,481.80.

Bank stocks were the biggest gainers. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo both were up 1.3 percent and Goldman Sachs gained 1.5 percent, helping the S&P banking index rise more than 1 percent.

Caterpillar climbed about 1 percent after reporting higher monthly machine retail sales

United Technologies was up 1 percent and General Dynamics rose 3.10 percent following results.

Abbott Laboratories jumped 4 percent after quarterly profit and 2018 adjusted earnings forecast beat estimates.

“The favorable market bias continued to be supported by earnings reports,” said Wiegand.

United Continental tumbled 10 percent after the airline said it plans to increase capacity, likely threatening its profit margin. American Airlines fell 5.3 percent while Delta Air Lines dropped 5 percent.

Texas Instruments fell 5.4 percent after the company posted its slowest revenue growth in four quarters.

The Dow Jones AirLines index fell 5.2 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,601 to 1,120. On the Nasdaq, 1,507 issues rose and 1,203 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Herb Lash in New York.; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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